In an article titled 'Slowdown? MasterCard Is Feelin' No Pain', Robin Sidel reports for the Wall St. Journal on yesterday's MasterCard earnings announcement. Sidel notes that 'while card issuers like banks face deepening trouble from customers who can't pay their bills, MasterCard and rivals that process electronic transactions still are raking in blockbuster profits from the global shift to plastic and away from cash and checks.'
Last fall, Jim held his first conference - Finovate 2007 in New York City - and it sold out quickly. Videos from Finovate 2007 are available online.
Jim's just announced the first of two events he's got planned for 2008 - FinovateStartup scheduled for April 29th in San Francisco. This one-day conference will showcase the hottest financial technology startups – including Andera, Boulevard R., Buxfer, CAPS, Clairmail, Credit Karma, First ROI, Jwaala, Lending Club, Mint, Prosper, SmartHippo, Unified Money, and Wesabe.
Early-bird registration is open now - the first 25 Payments News readers can use coupon code "paymentsnews7" to get an additional $100 discount off of the registration fee. Online Banking Report subscribers can get a $250 discount off of the registration fee. We'll be attending FinovateStartup ourselves and look forward to seeing you there.
Businesspundit.com points to an article by Charles Owen Kile Jr. in the Journal of Accountacy titled "Accounting for Gift Cards". "In practice, the reporting of gift card sales and breakage among retailers varies significantly and it is unclear what future action, if any, standard-setters and regulators will take toward unifying the range of practices."
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) has been examining the regulatory implications of new technologies in banking. According to the group, "basic, everyday financial services are out of reach for more than two billion people in developing countries. But the rapid growth of branchless banking - including mobile phone banking - is reducing the cost and expanding the availability of such services."
MasterCard Worldwide reported Q4 2007 financial results this morning. MasterCard’s gross dollar volume increased 15.2%, on a local currency basis, to $634 billion on a 17.2% increase in the number of transactions processed to 5.2 billion. Worldwide purchase volume rose 16.1%, on a local currency basis, during the quarter to $477 billion, driven by increased cardholder spending on a growing number of MasterCard cards. As of December 31, 2007, the company’s financial institution customers had issued 916 million MasterCard cards, an increase of 12.6% over the cards issued at December 31, 2006. An accompanying presentation is also available.
Social personal finance website Wesabe has announced the launch of an automated "add your bank" feature, allowing Wesabe's members to immediately add their financial institutions and upload data. During the sign-up process, if a new member's bank or credit union isn't one of the nearly 5,000 currently supported by Wesabe, they can add it to the database in less than a minute and begin uploading data. Wesabe's Marc Hedlund blogs about the new feature.
Payments News has covered TrialPay several times. Recently, Glenbrook's Russ Jones and Scott Loftesness completed a fourteen-page Research Brief entitled "Converting Customers With TrialPay - A New Payment Alternative for Online Merchants." To request a complimentary PDF copy of this Glenbrook Research Brief, click here.
Yankee Group has announced that "mobile banking must become available to a majority of mobile users including prepaid and low-income consumers if it is to succeed in North America. M-banking solution providers in North America can learn an important lesson on service adoption from international low-income initiatives as the global rise of the Anywhere Consumer™ takes hold."
A new report by Juniper Research finds that the rush by banks and mobile operators to deliver financial services to the mobile phone will result in just over 612 million mobile phone users generating over $587 billion worth of financial transactions by 2011. The report categorises Mobile Financial Services (MFS) into two distinct areas; Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments with Mobile Payments predicted to generate almost $22bn of transactions by 2011 and be adopted by 204m mobile phone users.
Wachovia Bank and Visa Inc. have announced that "they have signed a partnership agreement, renewing their long-standing relationship. Under terms of the deal, Wachovia will continue to offer Visa-branded credit and debit products to its customers as a major component of its consumer and small business payments business."
India's mChek, a provider of mobile security and payments services, has announced the introduction of the "patent-pending mChek Banner, a unique solution that enhances banner advertisements on the Internet into payment-enabled links. The mChek Banner is currently available to all users with pre-paid or post-paid Airtel mobile connections."
Aite Group has published a new report, "Contactless Payments and NFC in the United States: Beyond Science Fiction" in which it estimates that, In the absence of increased incentives by card networks, merchant penetration of contactless payment will only increase from 0.5% today to 2.5% by 2014.
Many thanks to all of our PaymentsJobs.com employers. You’ll see your job postings here on Payments News and PaymentsJobs.com when you post your job openings to the PaymentsJobs.com job board. Listings are available for $200 for a 30 day posting.
BART has announced that "a select group of BART riders is helping to launch a first-in-the-nation technological trial that will allow participants to walk up to any BART fare gate with a specially-equipped Sprint wireless phone and pay for their ride by tagging the phone on a reader located on top of the gate."
TowerGroup has announced new research that "finds that the most critical driver for the successful evolution of mobile banking and payments will be the ability of financial institutions and mobile operators to balance ease of use with security.
Dove Consulting has announced new research findings, sponsored by PSCU Financial Services, based upon consumer focus groups that "gauged consumer interest in and predicted future use of three major mobile applications: mobile banking (using a mobile device to access banking information), mobile payment at the point-of-sale (using a mobile device to make purchases), and mobile person-to-person payments (using a mobile device to send money to another mobile device)."
The winner? Mobile banking - chosen by two-thirds of participants. Mobile payments at POS was the choice of 30 percent while only a handful said they were excited about mobile person-to-person payments.
As part of its announcement this morning regarding fees, eBay also announced several enhancements that "will dramatically improve seller protection for eBay PowerSellers" when PayPal is used.
Discover reports that "few small business owners started out the year with confidence in the direction of the U.S. economy, according to the Discover Small Business Watch. The monthly index fell nearly 6½ points in January to 86.3, the second-largest point tumble in the 18-month existence of the poll. The index has been steadily decreasing since July, when it was 107.3."
Separately, Discover CEO David Nelms is presenting today at the Citi Financial Services Conference in New York.
CashEdge has announced that it executed more than $38 billion in account-to-account transfers in 2007 - "a 300% percent increase over 2006 volume. The transfers were initiated by consumers through CashEdge's money movement solutions that are currently in use at nearly one-third of the top 75 banks in the United States."
Javien Digital Payment Solutions has intorduced the Javien New Media Payment Gateway, calling it "the first transaction payment gateway tailored specifically to the needs of companies that sell digital assets like music, movies, games and software, whether sold via the Internet, or to mobile phones."
In an article titled 'ANZ starts rush to mobile banking', Mahesh Sharma writes for Australian IT 'ANZ is set to become the first bank in Australia to launch a mobile phone banking service and its competitors are expected to follow suit soon.' ANZ's offering will include both SMS-based information services as well as a Java-based mobile handset application.
ICONIX has announced that its Iconix Truemark service is officially available to millions of PayPal account holders. According to the company, "by placing an icon next to legitimate email messages, the Iconix Truemark service helps consumers visually identify legitimate email messages and avoid dangerous scams known as phishing attacks."
U.S. Bank, MasterCard Worldwide and Nokia have announced a mobile payments pilot program in Spokane, Washington using new Nokia mobile phones equipped with MasterCard PayPass payment functionality allowing consumers "to pay for purchases with a tap of their mobile phone, instead of sliding a card through a magnetic stripe reader, handing it over to the cashier, or fumbling for cash and coins."